Though not causally related to each other, two ill-starred pieces of news have surfaced regarding Nokia's mobile N-Gage gaming platform. ChartTrack, a UK sales monitor, revealed to online sources that: "The N-Gage chart, though still produced, is of little interest to anyone." The company will continue to formally chart the platform's sales and will make the monthly, quarterly, and annual results available by request, but will no longer include the platform by default on the official ELSPA charts, citing "a lack of interest."
Though unfortunate, the ChartTrack dismissal is the lesser of two evils for Nokia: the company has announced plans to scale back its research and development operations in the multimedia division, largely involving cuts for phone add-ons and more exotic products, most likely, though it's possible that some peripheral effects may be felt in game-related sectors.
Exactly how many people from which divisions will be cut is still in the air, according to Anssai Vanjoki, Nokia's Executive Vice President of Multimedia. "Reducing personnel is always a very tough decision to make. However, the planned streamlining of our R&D network will enable us to grow our business in a profitable way without sacrificing future business potential." The layoffs will be implemented in stages throughout 2005, and Nokia promises to make every effort to find new positions within the company for those affected.